31 March 2011

The Dark City; Catherine Fisher

The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you've read many sci-fi/quest books, this won't be anything new (unlike Incarceron) but in Fisher's hands readers won't mind. This is a thoroughly enjoyable start to a series - the twist here is that each episode will be release a month after the prior episode. And therein lies my biggest qualm: these won't be thin books, and I don't know if they'll have the "Harry Potter addict", where people dropped what they're doing immediately to read it all at once. Slower readers may give up because they'll feel they're being left behind... I hope they don't.

Like the world outside Incerceron, this world feels vaguely familiar. It's Earth... kind of. At one point there were Makers, who arrived from the stars and built a civilization. They left, and this magic-based Order keeps things running, telling the story of the Makers and tending to their Relics. Then there was an uprising, the Order fell and the Watch took over, hunting the Keepers and Relics and terrifying villages.

Galen and Raffi are a Keeper and a Keeper-in-training, sought by an outlaw who has been cheated out of his gold by a Sekoi (an indigenous race to the planet). After losing a Relic to this outlaw, they decide to seek the Sekoi in Tasceron, the former capital city - now in ruins and heavily guarded by the Watch. There's an ulterior motive, too, as Galen wants the Crow (a man? a myth? both?) to cure him, and the Crow is in Tasceron.

As I said above, their quest and adventures, let alone the world of Anara and Tasceron, will feel familiar to frequent readers of sci-fi/fantasy. Despite that, it was a fun read that made me want to read the following books, something increasingly rare for me in this overbloated world of series. And the ending? Let's just say that Ms. Fisher really knows how to keep a reader interested in the "what's next" part, rather than creating a cliffhanger that leaves you saying "that's a set-up".

ARC provided by publisher.

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